Passenger statistics

Airline Passengers 2003-2021

As we all remember the airlines took a big hit in 2020. IN 2019 they flew 927,000,000 passengers. But due to Covid, that number dropped in 2020 t0 369,000,000. However, the airlines are starting to recover in 2021 when they achieved 674,000,000 passengers and the numbers just keep going. I flew in 2021 and now again in 2022 and the change is amazing.

In 2021 the flights were erratic and gate agents were sparse and not a happy crowd. In May I made my second foray in the air to go to Kansa for graduations and the change was very noticeable.

Most noticeable is that costs are up appreciably. Airports are better staffed so that the ticket agents and gate agents aren’t as overworked and were actually pleasant.


They are crowded. More people mean longer lines. Staffing is still slim and it takes longer to get through to your gate, which probably has changed anyway. Mine changed twice since I got my ticket.

TSA lines were very long and moved fairly slowly. The bag review was particularly slow, but we didn’t have to unload them. I didn’t have to take off my belt or shoes either.

The First Flight

The first flight to Dallas was a very full flight. Surprisingly, about half the people wore masks. We had the typical flight turmoil with broken seats, so they were looking for six volunteers to fly later. We also had people at the wrong gate because of the earlier gate change and they almost missed their flight.

Once we got on board things began to go more smoothly. No temper tantrums. An hour and fifteen minutes later we landed in Dallas for a three-hour layover.

We were on a new 737 with smartphone holders at eye level and USB ports so you could keep everything charged.

The second Flight

Left from Dallas to go to Manhatten, Ks. The plane was full with a much smaller number of people wearing masks.

The good news was that both flights were on time, and the flight attendants were calmer than they were in the first time I flew after Covid. The check-in stations were better staffed and the airlines seem to be getting back in the game.

The real test comes on the way back home next week. It always seems more likely they would have issues later in the day at the Dallas airport and they did. The airline changed my seat from an aisle to a middle seat. Thankfully, one of the gate attendants was able to fix the problem.

So What Is Going Better Now

  1. Checking-in is working better and seems to be better staffed. This has led to them being more pleasant and helpful.
  2. TSA was slower than it used to be, but I didn’t have to unload the contents of my briefcase as I did before Covid.
  3. The staff at the gates were even more relaxed and helpful than ever. It seemed to be overstaffed on some gates for this trip.
  4. Planes were full going each way. The travelers were calmer than they were right after Covid.

How to prepare for your next flight

  1. If are not in first class, then you need to bring your own snacks or eat stale pretzels.
  2. The lighter you pack the better, particularly if you are going to fly on a regional airline. Overheads are getting larger on the newer planes, but most of us try to carry too much on board.
  3. Make sure you carry any medications onto the flight with you in case your baggage doesn’t get there on time. Although I didn’t have this problem.
  4. Get to your gate early and listen for gate change announcements because it is up to you to get on the plane and once the doors close there won’t be reopened for you.
  5. Last but not least be patient and helpful to everyone especially the gate staff and flight attendants. They are not the enemy.